The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, A Loyal and Brave Dog

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier's precise origins aren't known, but they come from the area around the English and Scottish border.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, A Loyal and Brave Dog

Last update: 19 January, 2020

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small Scottish dog belonging to the terrier group, a group of dogs that were bred to work underground to root out vermin.

Origins of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier comes from the area around the border between England and Scotland. There are many theories that relate it to the Border Terrier, the Scottish Terrier and the Skye Terrier. Although it’s precise origins are unknown, its name comes from Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering.

The Dandie Dinmont became a registered breed in the mid-nineteenth century and was one of the favorite choices for hunting badgers and otters. In 2006, the Kennel Club of England recognized the breed as a vulnerable native breed, which means there are fewer than 300 puppies registered each year.

Features and breed standards

According to Federation Cynologique Internationale (the International Cynological Federation), the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small terrier belonging to section two of group three. The most recent standard for the breed was published in August 2017.

The dog has a large head with nice, silky fur and large, intelligent eyes. It has a long body and short yet strong legs.

As for its coat, the fur is a key characteristic. It has two layers of fur, a soft, thin inner coat and a coarser outer coat which can feel crispy to the touch. The preferred color is a pepper or mustard tone, though some white on the chest is permitted.

They measure between 8 and 11 inches in height and weigh between 17 and 24 lb, though the preferred weight is closer to 17 lb.


The Dandie Dinmont is a brave dog despite its short stature. Sometimes they’re even more courageous when facing larger dogs or dangerous animals like foxes. As a result, they make excellent guard dogs and will warn of any strange noises or presence in the home.

A dandie dinmont terrier going for a walk.

However, despite this, they make excellent companions and are considered to be very independent, intelligent, determined, affectionate, and noble.

Caring for a Dandie Dinmont Terrier

There are no diseases that seem to be particular to this breed. However, being a small dog with a long body means that intervertebral disc or hip problems are possible. A regular visit to the vet should help make sure this doesn’t happen.

However, its double coat of fur will require more care than a short-haired dog. But with two grooming sessions per week and a diet rich in omega-3, you’ll be sure to keep their coat shiny and clean.

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